Failure To Update Sex Offender Registry Nets Bolen Probation
Daniel Neal Bolen, 29, of Tyler County, was placed on 36 months of probation after failing to update his sex offender registry information.
Bolen pleaded guilty to the one information count on March 10, before the Honorable Judge Mark A. Karl. A pre-sentencing investigation was then conducted.
“I failed to update my registration. I made a mistake, and I want to make it right,” Bolen stated when asked what he wished to tell the court.
“I went to a friend’s house and stayed and forgot to update the registry,” Bolen noted, also adding that he didn’t update his cell phone.
“How long should I send you to prison?” Hummel asked.
“None,” Bolen responded.
“Convince me,” Hummel stated.
“I think I can do better,” Bolen noted. “I made a mistake, and I apologize and would like another chance to do right.”
“Do you know the purpose of the registration?” Hummel asked. “Do you know why they have you do it?”
“To keep track of people,” Bolen responded.
“This is something you are going to have to do throughout the course of your life,” Hummel stated. “It’s been deemed by the legislature in order to help keep our community safe.” Hummel added that if a person is charged and convicted and ordered to register, “then that’s what needs to be done.”
“I do believe Mr. Bolen is a salvageable person who should not be incarcerated,” Defense Attorney Brett Ferro stated to the court.
“He suffers from clinical depression and ADHD. It probably helps to explain some as to why he moved around. He doesn’t understand the concept of keeping up with the state police.” Ferro explained that Bolen probably wasn’t good for the drug program, as he is a minor user of drugs.
Ferro also stated that if there was a second offense, Bolen would have to serve 10 to 25 years in prison, stating that the possibility of this punishment would perhaps ensure that Bolen would keep his registry information up-to-date.
Ferro also brought up the possibility of Bolen being admitted to a mental health court. “He’d be able to get help with the ADHD, the hyperactivity, the depression, and anxiety.” Ferro noted that Bolen had been medicated for these issues, but “got away from his medication.”
“The underlying offense was a third degree sexual abuse. He’s not a violent person, and he’s not a threat to the community. It’s worth a second chance to go through probation and mental health court. He’d benefit. As the report indicates, he’s a blank slate. He could easily jump into that program and start complying with it and be successful with it.”
“(Bolen) was convicted of an offense which would require him to register for life in regards to the age of the victim,” Prosecutor Haught noted. “He served 90 days in jail. The West Virginia State Police is charged with the task of monitoring all individuals who are required to register. It’s an arduous task and time consuming.”
Haught continued, “Unfortunately it seems like there are several individuals that have difficulty in maintaining their current registration. I don’t know the reasons why. This defendant did not register as he was supposed to. According to Corporal Durrah’s report, he followed up with respect to this. There were five changes in address and two telephone number changes that should have been reported.”
Haught added that Corporal Durrah did relay to him that Bolen was “very cooperative in terms of admitting the violations.
“That doesn’t excuse the violations, but he didn’t deny them as such. I think I need to point that out,” said Haught.
“My position is because they are required to register, and it is an important safety law, that he serve one to five years in the penitentiary for the violation.”
When asked if he had anything else he wished to tell the court, Bolen said that he was sorry and he wanted a chance to prove that he “can do it right.”
Hummel noted that unfortunately Bolen did not qualify for drug court or mental health court. “The guidelines given just did not fit,” Hummel said. “We tried looking at that.”
Hummel added that Ferro had mentioned an important point in that “upon a second conviction,” Bolen would have to serve 10-20 years of incarceration. “That’s a substantial hit right there,” Hummel noted.
Bolen was sentenced to no less than one but no more than five years. This sentence was suspended, and Bolen was placed on 36 months of probation under the supervision of Chief Probation Officer John D. Lantz.
“Now you aren’t going to come back in with another excuse,” Hummel warned Bolen.
“Look,” he added, “if you move from one residence to another, you register. If you get a new phone, you register it . . . I’d register if I change the type of Kleenex I use. If you rent a car, buy a car, change residences . . . or if you aren’t using a residence. If you change where you sleep at night, if you change from a house, to a car, to a cardboard box . . . you are facing 10-25. It really will be imposed. I’m not giving you a pass.”